Rising Brazilian contender Johnny Walker asked and received.
On Feb. 7, perennial contender Ovince Saint Preux pulled out of his Light Heavyweight bout with Canadian combatant Misha Cirkunov at UFC 235. Quick to put his name out in the limelight, up-and-coming Light Heavyweight standout Johnny Walker called out for the chance to compete on the pay per view. On Feb. 12, his wish was granted and made official by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
Cirkunov (14-4, 5-2 in UFC) made his UFC debut back in 2015. He began his UFC run with four straight stoppage victories, with wins over Ion Cuțelaba and Nikita Krylov. He would run into a two-fight losing skid after taking on former title contenders Volkan Oezdemir and Glover Teixeira. Cirkunov most recently bounced back after defeating Patrick Cummins at UFC Fight Night 138 in Canada. Of Cirkunov’s 14 total career wins, 12 have come by way of knockout or submission.
Walker (16-3, 3-0 in UFC) has garnered the fans attention as of late after garnering highlight reel victories in his last two fights. Walker earned a spot on the UFC roster after an impressive decision victory on the Brazil edition of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. In his official UFC debut, Walker upset former Ultimate Fighter alum Khalil Roundtree in less than two minutes with a standing elbow. Following this win, Walker would again impress with a spinning back fist knockout over Justin Ledet in less than a minute in Brazil at UFC Fight Night 144. Of Walker’s 16 wins, 13 have come by way of knockout.
UFC 235 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Mar. 2 and will stream live on pay per view. The event will be headlined by a Light Heavyweight title bout between newly crowned champion Jon Jones and No. 3 ranked contender Anthony Smith. The rest of the card reads:
Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith (UFC Light Heavyweight title)
Tyron Woodley vs. Kamaru Usman (UFC Welterweight title)
Robbie Lawler vs. Ben Askren
Tecia Torres vs. Weili Zhang
Cody Garbrandt vs. Pedro Munhoz
Preliminary Card (ESPN)
Jeremy Stephens vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov
Diego Sanchez vs. Mickey Gall
Early Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Marlon Vera vs. Frankie Saenz
Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Charles Byrd
Gina Mazany vs. Macy Chiasson